Was Kim Kardashian Wrong To Let North West Perform At The Lion King?

Nepo baby or not, she's only ten years old...

Kim Kardashian and North West

by Nikki Peach |
Published on

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s daughter North West has long been dragged into various debates about nepo babies, despite the fact she’s only ten years old.

North took to the stage as Young Simba during Disney's The Lion King Live concert at The Hollywood Bowl in LA to celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary, and Kardashian critics had a lot to say about it.

She wore a fluffy yellow lion suit and matching shoes and sang, ‘I Just Can’t Wait to be King’ from the animated film. Sounding innocent so far? Well, that hasn’t stopped a flurry of online trolls from criticising her.

One person took to X to say, ‘I’m sorry but casting North West as Simba when there are hundreds of properly trained theatre kids with voice coaches, dance skills, and experience was a HORRIBLE choice. It definitely makes you question the credibility of the casting director.’ While another wrote, ‘It needs to be said: North West was not good in The Lion King. And her family/ production did her no favours in letting her go on anyway. Not all kids are good at all things and they need to be taught that.’

Meanwhile, someone else posted a video discussing the performance on TikTok and said, ‘never cast a nepo baby over talent, ever again.’

While these takes might make some valid points, the anger feels misdirected. The takeaway here is not that North West needs to be taught that she’s not a natural Broadway star by thousands of people on the internet. Nor is the concept of nepotism taking precedence over talent anything new. If anything, this is a fairly inconsequential example.

What is fair, however, is to question why Kim Kardashian put her daughter in this position in the first place. North may have received her own custom Lion King cookies before the show, received a standing ovation for her performance and met the cast afterwards, but she was also watched and filmed by 17,500 people and has been subjected to a huge amount of ridicule. As famous parents – parents who were also in the audience – Kim and Kanye put North in an incredibly vulnerable position, whether she's a confident child or not (and she seemed perfectly happy on stage).

Of course, it’s worth remembering that society has always treated and valued celebrities in such a way that their children are afforded opportunities and experiences that other children could only dream of.

This, sadly, is how fame and fortune has worked for a very long time. Ultimately, North is the first-born child of two of the most famous people in the world. This type of privilege has always existed, it just wasn’t shared on social media or opened up for thousands of strangers to debate online. That doesn’t mean it’s fair or justified, it's just further evidence that people with that much money and influence can do just about whatever they want – and so can their kids.

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